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Old 07-06-2002, 10:40 PM   #1
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Location: MI, USA
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cowboy51 HB User
Question Colon cancer in elderly

My 86 year old mother has been diagnosed with colon cancer in the upper left transverse colon. The doctor found this when he did a colon scope last September. She has been hesitant about surgery because she afraid of complications such as a stroke or something, and since she is still feeling good with no symptoms, she fears doing surgery and something going wrong. What I'd like to know, is there somebody out there who has gone through this surgery at an older age (or their kids) who can tell us what they had to go through, how the recuperation was, and if they regret having the surgery. Also, I'd like to hear from anyone whose parent had the surgery at an advanced age, and didn't make it. I'd just like to get an idea if the surgery is worth taking the risk. Otherwise, she is in good condition for her age. Bill

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Old 07-10-2002, 02:52 PM   #2
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WorriedDaughter HB User

My dad is 66 and had colonrectal cancer and had to have a colostomy 2 years ago to remove the tumor and undergo radiation and chemo as a followup. The radiation damaged half his upper and lower bowel and he had surgery 6 months later. He has gone from 165 to 132 pounds. Now it has spread to his spine and they will not do surgery and cannot do more radiation, just chemo which may not work. My dad is in pain all the time (almost 200mg morphine a day) and they don't think the chemo will kill it. My father regrets the radiation, not chemo which he handled well, he was told he didn't have a choice with surgery because it ruptured. My father was in good health prior to treatment. Ask the doctors to be honest about the downside, they never told my dad about severe radiation damage. I hope things go well with your mother. Worried Daughter, ME

Old 07-17-2002, 07:25 PM   #3
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cowboy51 HB User

My mother is still doing symtoms from the colon area. She is now thinking of going ahead with the surgery in October. I just hope she hasn't waited too long. She also has a mass on the pancreas, or in that area. When the dr. first found that, he said she wouldn't have to worry about the colon, as the pancreas would take her sooner. But, she has had two more CT scans since (the first last September, then in December, and May) and that mass remains unchanged. She wouldn't have a biopsy done, so we still don't know if that is malignant. After the later CT scans showed no change, the doctor thinks now she should take care of the colon, and he could do a biopsy of the other mass while he's in there. She wouldn't do a needle biopsy because she was afraid it might "stir" things up, although the doctor said it wouldn't. She is mainly concerned of a stroke or something during or after surgery. She has said she won't have radiation or chemo, so I hope she doesn't wait too long for surgery. Bill

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